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Jesus said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.
Let’s make a deal. Try living a life according to God’s commandments and let’s see what will happen. I am sure, almost 100% that you will find peace in your life. Avoid a life of sin. Avoid falling into the same sins over and over again, and let us see what will happen? I am almost 100% sure that you will live a life that is complete, abundant and enriching.
How can I be so sure? Well, on a purely human level, Jesus lived a very upright and moral life. He surprised the “hell” (literally) out of the world, becoming one of the most influential figures in the history of the world. He surprised the “hell” (literally) out of everyone by showing mercy and compassion towards his enemies and by forgiving sinners. He surprised the “hell” (symbolically) out of the devil by not falling for his tricks, his bribes, or his empty promises. Christ surprised the “hell” out of the Apostles when he appeared to them after his crucifixion. He surprised all of us by turning these fearful men into fearless Saints! He surprised all his would-be-followers to sell what they had and give it to the poor. He surprised them when He told them to pick up their cross and follow him. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. How does the Lord bring souls closer to Him? By surprising them!
Christ lived a life very similar to all of us. He interacted with good and bad people; saints and sinners. He had good days and bad days. He experienced joy, love, admiration and success from his people, as well as hatred, bitterness and resentment from his people. The Lord prayed for strength and went through exhaustion, pain and suffering; he found very few comforts. He traveled all the time. By friends and foes, the Lord was misunderstood often, ignored frequently, and rejected all too soon. His life was short, too short. But he did not sin. He considered all things and all experiences as grace upon grace. He considered all people, friends and enemies, as his mission. He considered all his prayers answered. He was a man after His Father’s heart. He would not gather anyone if he lost the only One. The Lord lived a life similar to all of us, except in sin. He did not sin. Neither should we.
Although Christ’s earthly life was short, his eternal life endures forever. Our life will be the same, and we should not fear, for those who believe in Him will live forever. He mimics us in everything. We too live in humble surroundings, obscure times and obscure places. Regardless of what people say, no one place is the center of the world. But that never stopped the Lord from being the center of truth, of life and of love! It should not stop us either.
There are many who openly attack Christians, but very few who will even dare attack Christ. When our enemies attack our Lord, they do so by attacking his teachings; the teachings found in the Church. They say, “This is not what Jesus would have said.” Of course, we know that he did. But the attempt to keep Christ on his pedestal while undercutting his Church has not gone unnoticed. The devil tried to do it. St. Paul tried to do it, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me!” And even we have tried to do it too! It is all familiar ground, as familiar and as ancient as the snake; one of the few creatures that roam the earth without legs. For centuries, people have been trying to undercut God by attacking his Church. This should not stop us from drawing closer to Him.
Christ wishes to draw everyone to Him. By his life and death, we should know that fear, trouble and sin does not get in His way. It should not get in our way either.